6 die in dengue virus outbreak in southern China

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Dengue Fever Outbreak

BEIJING (AP) - The dengue virus has killed six people and infected more than 21,000 in southern China's worst outbreak of the mosquito-transmitted disease in about two decades, officials said Tuesday.

Authorities in worst-affected Guangdong province attribute the severity of this year's outbreak to exceptionally hot and wet weather, plus increasing travel by residents to regions where dengue is endemic, especially Southeast Asia.

The Guangdong health agency said on its website that 21,527 people had been infected by Sunday, with more than 1,000 new infections per day. Other provinces reported a few dozen cases.

In the Guangdong capital of Guangzhou, authorities dispatched teams to spray insecticide to kill the mosquitoes that spread the virus, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Dengue causes flu-like symptoms and rashes. It usually is not fatal, but can be especially severe for younger victims.

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